Naples is the capital of Campania and the third-largest city in Italy, after Rome and Milan. As of 2012, around 960,000 people live within the city's administrative limits. The Naples urban area, covering 1,023 km2 (395 sq mi), has a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million, and is the 8th-most populous urban area in the European Union. Between 4.1 and 4.4 million people live in the Naples metropolitan area, one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea.
Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the region in the 2nd millennium BC, with a larger mainland colony – initially known as Parthenope – developing around the 9th–8th centuries BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Ages. The city was refounded as Neápolis in the 6th century BC, and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and eventually becoming a cultural centre of the Roman Republic. Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861. During the Neapolitan War of 1815, Naples strongly promoted Italian unification.
Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres), and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Over the course of its long history, Naples has been the capital of duchies, kingdoms, and one Empire, and has consistently been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous sites of great cultural and historical significance, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Naples has the fourth-largest urban